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"Last month, I was driving our long-term Kia K900 on I-90 past Little Bighorn Battlefield in Montana. The adaptive cruise control was engaged at 75 mph. My feet were perhaps six inches from the pedals, and I held the steering wheel with one hand. There was no traffic in front, none behind, none in the opposite lanes.

That's when the car, wholly unbidden, braked violently.

Loose items in the ****pit rocketed forward, and the seatbelts cinched to chest-flattening pressure. My wife cried out, and I was so thunderstruck that I couldn't think how to react.

I recall saying "What?" a couple of times, which did surprisingly little to mitigate the crisis. Then I decided to pound the brakes--bleeding more speed, maybe to as little as 20 mph--which disengaged the cruise control.

That corrected the problem, although I achieved this result with no greater purpose than to cease being startled. If an 18-wheeler had been tailgating, well, the Kia would be MIA. When I later saw myself in a mirror, my hair was damp and cowlicked, and I had a visage of cosmic confusion, liked Doc Brown in Back to the Future."

"Ghosts In The Machines" John Phillips, Car and Driver Feb 2015, p. 30

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